weekend in manchester

Uha, I am so tired! Really I am. Friday was quite an exhausting day, with seeing my parents off and then rushing to the IRC meeting which was unfortunately not particularly enlightening, as the locals were missing.
Then there was the lecture about “Radical and Alternative journalism” at Napier University, with one of the SchNEWS people talking, the journalist type of the collective, as they are on tour celebrating their tenth anniversary.
Then later, they had their political cabaret in The Forest. Anyway, it took ages till I was home, and then the next morning got up early to go to Manchester.

But, unfortunately, I was a bit crap on Friday and fell out a bit with the Schnews people, at least with one. Not that I intended to, just was a bit sensitive, and was having my period and when this journo guy was hyping how wonderful their project is and how super accessible they are “in contrast to other alternative media collectives which are just run by 1-2 volunteers, who actually would not want anybody else to take part”, then I just exploded a little bit, my Hungarian side was just getting up on the roof again. Maybe I should not have come to the lecture, but i was a bit pissed off, first as they seemed to avoid liaising with me in general, and instead published on Indymedia UK: “we have heard from all places back except from Edinburgh”. Anyway, we were already being pissed off by SchNews, and not only me but also others, firstly for advertising the “Scottish Separatist Group, an extreme nationalist group in Scotland, which supports the SNLA, the Scottish National Liberation Army, which is a banned terrorist organisation, being responsible for a variety of bombings and mailed letter bombs in the 80s with one of the aims to reverse immigration to Scotland.” see their website if being more interested.
Anyway, in my opinion, we should stay clear of these, aeh, people and their opinions.

Then also, SchNEWS has been repeatedly publishing articles with links to far-right organisations, for example, Bilderberger articles which link to the American Free Press, whose magazine is banned in Britain, because of incitement to racial hatred. Or e.g. been linking to “National-Anarchist” organisations.

Amongst all the other wonderful work they have been doing, though. But in the end what was angering me was that it seemed as if the more people involved, the better is the project, and in my opinion, that is not necessarily true. Even if we in Indymedia Scotland only seem to be 2 persons at the moment, at least we are accountable and open. Our email lists are open, our decision making is open, our meetings are open, and even our publishing is open. And with the new Indymedia Scotland website, even the editorial will be open to the users, when we apply a rating system to the articles. And we are also accountable to the global project, and at the moment also to Indymedia UK, as we are also a collective there, and of course, to the people who run the server.

With Schnews, on the contrary, it seems they are not accountable or open at all, on how they make their editorial decisions. And now they have picked up the Camcorder Guerilla films which make it seem as there was a hostile take-over by me and SpaceBunny about Indymedia Scotland by showing how great it worked in the 2 weeks where we actually did not take part in setting up the Indymedia centre at the Big Blockade. I want to say that was not the case. When we first got the password after the technical session, it was over 30 people who had it. But they did not do anything with it. And because of the physical separation between Edinburgh and Glasgow meetings weren’t just happening regularly anymore. And then SpaceBunny worked out how to use the system and I started writing, which I have always liked. And because I was the only one writing then my articles got promoted to the middle column, which made me write them even more in-depth and spend more time on them. And then, because me and SpaceBunny were already working with the uk collective, it was just natural to stay with them and build up the Scotland subsection. The admin got more and more complicated and when I tried to teach people the admin lots of them were impatient enough not to learn it or refused to engage with the other UK people. Also, everybody wanted an independent IMC Scotland homepage and so it only seemed like a short term solution to having the subsection up and running. Who knew, in the end, it would take nearly 2 years instead of the 2 weeks promised.

So, anyway, I had a bit of a go at them and now I feel like I definitely destroyed the good vibe of the lecture. I am sure the lecturer is pissed off with me, too.
Well, in the evening there was the cabaret on, and I counted at least 60 people. There were quite a lot whom i haven’t seen lately at events we have been putting on, such as the Green Party persons and the other environmentalists, and quite a lot of Forest people, who usually “disappear in the woods” if any other radical event is on.
Lots of people liked the cabaret, and the funny films they were screening. Anyway, I had seen quite a lot of these before, and could not really get some of the jokes, cause I was too distracted to listen and the dialect made it a bit un-understandable.
Anyway, lots of the 60, 70 people disappeared when it came to the discussion. I wonder if it is the same everywhere at political events if the events have such a big audience, but people avoid the discussion and start to duck when it comes to it. I can understand it, firstly because my brutal honesty doesn’t go down well in polite Britain, but also I was quite the same at the time when I became political, that I wanted to figure out things for myself and not be told what to believe or being preached at. I was reading lots of articles and newspapers than to think about politics, rather than engaging in discussions. And IMHO I think there isn’t the right publication out yet in Edinburgh to get people into politics. Harry writes good stuff, and “easy entry stuff”, but unfortunately it has no explicit local context.

Then I quickly needed to sort out travel arrangements, and at least Harry joined the travel on the spot, and so did the Bilston Glen guy Andi, otherwise I would not have gone probably, and guess Willie would not have made it alone down there either. So we decided at 11pm on Friday night that we would be travelling down to the meeting.

We also passed by Talamh and invited them, but unfortunately, they weren’t quite as spontaneous and so we stayed to be four. I should have contacted them earlier, I am sure Roz and Mark would have come, but it would have been a bit too complicated maybe to arrange it on the spot, also due to the fact that Roz uses a wheelchair and am not quite sure if there would have been a problem with the organisation of the meeting. Anyway, we made our way down and it was incredibly hot and sunny. No impression of the storm, wind and rain the weather forecast had promised. Instead, we were already sweating close to exhaustion, cause the ventilation of the van was broken, so to cool down the motor we needed to have the heating full on. No wonder everybody fell asleep in the back, and nearly the driver and me, too.

Arriving in Manchester, we got a cup of tea and joined the meeting, which seemed to be quite a whole load of theory. Luckily we got there in time for the tea break. And afterwards, I got missing to snooze in the van, cause I was extremely tired. I can’t actually recall what was said or discussed cause I also had a headache which was incredibly strong.

Anyway, I remember pissing off some more people over the weekend and nearly falling asleep in the van whilst travelling back, only having one eye open because the driver also fell nearly asleep and I saw us nearly crashing into other vehicles at least three times. Damn heating!!

Saturday evening was good, with a political cabaret and a great band, which I can’t remember what they are called at the moment. BEyONdTV screened some funny films and animations and also did a kind of political cabaret. There was a lot of beer and a lot of food which tasted of coconut.
Because of drinking quite a lot – comparatively – I went out like a light and so did sleep well.

Anyway, to give a bit of an evaluation of the meeting in case anybody is ever reading this,(the logs are not suggesting this btw.) it was quite a nice change and always good to meet people and see and hear about other projects. Somehow I got the feeling of being trapped a bit within a big crowd of environmentalists, and, have to confess, that environmentalism is quite low down on my list of priorities. Maybe it was only because we met in the environmental resource centre. Hopefully, the group can work out a way to cope with its diversities and different priorities. I wouldn’t want to be converted to be an environmentalist, I would rather leave the group.
Don’t wanna end up e.g. like the German green party people.

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